When we read a piece of writing, we need to pay attention to how the various sentences are related to each other. Sometimes this relationship is apparent through the logical development of ideas. Sometimes it is clear from the use of pronouns or the repetition of words or the use of synonyms. Sometimes, however, the relationship can be made clearer with the use of cohesive devices. These can also be referred to as connectives or conjunctions. In this section, the term ‘connective’ is used.
Connectives are adverbs or adverb phrases used to link ideas that we introduce in sentences and paragraphs. Connectives usually, but not always, go at the beginning of a sentence.

 


Functions of connectives

Identify the function of the connectives given in the middle column by choosing an answer from the box below. An example has been done for you.





Analysing connectives

When you are using connectives you should ask yourselves these questions:
  • Do you intend to add a point to support what has been said previously?
  • Do you want to refute what has been said previously?
  • What effect does the connective have on the meaning of the sentence in the context?
Look at the connectives underlined in the text that follows and ask yourself the 3 questions above for each one. For each connective, find an alternative connective and write it in the table below. Pay attention to the word order which may change when you change the connective. (You may use the exponents in the table from Exercise 1 to help you.)

I am a 17-year-old boy. I failed to enter university this year so I am studying at home and in a tutorial college to try and improve my grades. Until recently, I lacked the self-discipline to focus on my studies and there was every possibility that I would fail again at the next attempt. I live alone with my Mum. She works long hours as a negotiator in a property agency. I hardly see her as she goes out in the morning and stays late catching up on paperwork or entertaining clients. We rarely eat together in the evening. Instead, my Mum gives me HK$50 a day to buy takeaway food. Our flat is small but I have my own room. I have to admit it is a mess; I never let my mum in there; I didn’t want her to see my private stuff and I played computer games all night. I didn’t think she knew or cared because she was always too preoccupied with her job.

The other evening I was watching TV when Mum came back. It was later than usual. The takeaway cartons were strewn all over the floor and I had my feet up on the coffee table. The place was a mess as usual. Mum usually picks up after me. When she saw me, she started shouting: “You’re just a lazy good-for-nothing. You waste your time playing on the computer. You’ll be a loser just like your father!” She had not mentioned him for a long time. He had left us when I was still at primary school. Then she burst into tears and would not stop crying.

I was speechless. I had never seen my mother break down like that. She had always controlled her feelings. As she sat on the sofa sobbing, I felt mixed emotions. I felt afraid to see her so hysterical. I also felt guilty because it was my behaviour that had triggered her reaction.

I went up to Mum and asked her what the matter was. She told me she was having trouble at work. Her boss had warned her that she would be dismissed if she failed to meet the sales target. She told me that in the recession her income had dropped by half and our financial situation was precarious. She felt exhausted and when I was not pulling my weight at home, it was the last straw. In addition to this, she feared that if I failed my exams again, I was throwing my future away. This was the first time she had treated me like an adult. I realised I had to start behaving like one too. We spoke together for about an hour and it was good to communicate. It was a turning point for me, with the result that I stopped seeing the world through a child’s eyes. I could have saved my Mum a lot of trouble if I had been more thoughtful before.

All in all, I am determined to work hard and not waste time. I have drawn up a study plan and I will keep to it. I have also found a part-time tutoring job which brings in $1,000 a week. I hand it over to my mother. My goal is to study engineering at university. If you have a concrete goal, you can strive towards it. Above all, I want to make my mother proud of me.


Connective Alternative
because
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Your Answer:
Answer:
since/as she was always preoccupied… due to the fact that she was always preoccupied…
Then
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Your Answer:
Answer:
Next, she burst into tears …
also
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Your Answer:
Answer:
Besides/in addition to this, I felt guilty… (Furthermore/Moreover would not be appropriate for an informal register)
In addition to this
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Your Answer:
Answer:
Besides this… She also feared that … (Furthermore/Moreover would not be appropriate for an informal register)
with the result that
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Your Answer:
Answer:
It was a turning point for me because as a consequence I stopped seeing the world as …
All in all
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Your Answer:
Answer:
In short/To summarise/Overall,I am determined to …
also
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Your Answer:
Answer:
Besides this/In addition to this, I have found … (Furthermore/Moreover would not be appropriate for an informal register)




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